from Anne in Adelaide, Australia: the plot thickens

May 10. I see that I have been attending to writing this diary for 6 weeks. During that time our understanding of this Covid-19 virus has grown but it remains a confused field of knowledge. Now, science is mixed up with powerful political and economic forces. There was fear at first. Now anger and frustration are depicted nightly on our TV news reports – previously mainly from overseas. But now it appears in Australia.

The latest mob in full cry Downunder are the Mad Hatters themselves – a contagion of conspiracy theorists. Ignorance personified.

Tonight, I watched as police tried to manage a mob of around 100 people in Melbourne protesting against the continued lockdown in the State of Victoria, which is not stepping down to the lower level as some other states. None of the protesters wore masks or maintained distance from one another. The (masked) police tried to keep control. Several protesters were arrested.  

Placards read, ‘Fight for your freedom and rights’ and people chanted, ‘Arrest Bill Gates’. The SBS report read, ‘A group of conspiracy theorists have been arrested after defying lockdown laws and holding a rally against vaccinations and 5G at Victoria’s state parliament.’

Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Brendan Murphy, was called up to respond to this, saying the claim that 5G is connected to coronavirus is “nonsense”.

What is it in people that they hang onto believing such crazy, weird stuff? Including the following – but not comprehensive:

  1. Bill Gates started the virus helped by the Chinese so he could make money out of the vaccine … and he wants to de-populate the world.
  2. The ‘plandemic video’ postulates that ‘the virus must have been released from a laboratory environment and could not possibly be naturally-occurring; that using masks and gloves actually makes people more sick; and that closing beaches is “insanity” because of “healing microbes” in the water.’ (BBC commentary).
  3. The virus is no more deadly than the flu …  the numbers thrown around are all fake and mostly are generated by computer algorithms.
  4. COVID-19 is turning out to be huge hoax perpetrated by media
  5.  … the anti-vaxxers in full cry.
  6. Etc…

I was impressed that The Atlantic magazine published an article advising you how to reply politely to those contacts / friends of yours who push the ‘plandemic’ video. I think I needed this advice in order to remain calm and not to disturb the tea party!

https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2020/05/plandemic-video-what-to-say-conspiracy/611464/

“Alice felt dreadfully puzzled. The Hatter’s remark seemed to have no sort of meaning in it, and yet it was certainly English. `I don’t quite understand you,’ she said, as politely as she could. (chapter 7. Alice in Wonderland).

from Shannon in Florida, USA: life seems relatively normal …

April 28. I must say given how crazy the things have been and how cumbersome (putting it mildly) all restrictions have been for most people around the world, my life seems relatively normal. 

I am lucky to be working as a consultant, which means working from home is not new or far fetched. Yes, you are in meetings starting at 8 and ending around 18, and you are lucky if you can close your computer and enjoy dinner before 20, but still this is better than most. Usually for work I am traveling Monday – Thursday to be on client site,  which means I don’t get to spend as much time with family, or pets, but now things are different. My schedule has adapted, and I am not complaining in the slightest. I get to take my pets on a long walk on the morning and the evening, see my mom and dad, and workout from home. I don’t have to think about missing a flight, or what I am ordering for room service because I can’t be bothered to leave the hotel after a long day at work.

I am in Florida where people seem to care more about their tan, beer, and “freedom” than anyone else, which may play a part. Beaches are open, people have quarantine parties, and everyone seems to think this is all just a big vacation. I would normally be frustrated that peoples ignorance will just prolong the situation, but I would just be in a bad mood all day if I thought that way. SO instead of being upset that my travels are cancelled, that my boyfriend is on the other side of the world, and that people seem to not care about anyone but themselves I am choosing to see positives. 

I am spending more time with my parents than I have since I was about 8, I get to walk outside on an empty golf course with two extremely happy dogs, the sun is shining, I have a job, and I know eventually things will go back to normal.